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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Us 18, Washington 9, Sandy 8, Chris Christie 4, Green Giant 3, Krystal 3, Max 3, Pete Williams 3, Charmin Ultra Soft 2, Geico 2, Lyrica 2, Nra 2, Dr. Koop 2, John Boehner 2, Keith Ellison 2, Biden 2, Edward Jones 2, Fda 2, Mmr 2, Sean Hannity 2,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    February 27, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00pm PST  

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but the smoking rate went down. as the death rate spiked in the mystery deepened, the president and his administration said little and did even less. except for dr. koop who saw aids not as a niche concern of gay men, a constituency of reagan's base was hostile to. but as the public health crisis it was. it is time, dr. koop said, to put self-defeating attitudes aside and recognize that we're fighting a disease. not people. it enraged the right. the aids epidemic was only gets worse he said. while abstinence was the only way to stop it, those who opted for safe sexual activity was essential. finally a way to tilt the debate back in their favor. but koop did his study and reported back with words that disappointed the president and his supporters. i regret, mr. president, that in
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spite of a diligent review on the part of many, the study does not provide conclusive data about the health efbts of abortion on women. c. everett koop left office just as opposed to abortion as he had been when he entered office. but his personal moral views never clouded his judgment or his commitment to public health. he was and still is a model surgeon general and his legacy is a reminder that sometimes the worst thing you can do is judge a book by its cover. okay. that does it for "the cycle." martin bashir, take it away. >> thanks steve. it is wednesday, february 27th. and your right to vote, your right to walk safely down the streets, and your right to earn a decent wage are all on the line. ♪
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rosa parks' singular act launched a movement. >> it's a safe prediction to say the voting rights act as it stands is not going to survive. >> fired feet of those who walked the dusty roads of montgomery helped a nation see that to which it had once been blind. >> jim crowe's son, james crowe jr. esquire is still trying to do what his daddy did. and that's rob us from the right to vote. >> it was seen fit that the united states had to codify, had to put in law that what was given to us as freed slaves. >> there are still those in this country that want to take us back to another period. but we're not going back. >> because of these men and women that i stand here today. ♪
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good afternoon. and it is a very busy wednesday. with just 48 hours to prevent a series of devastating cuts that will certainly slow down our economic recovery and may even tip the nation back into recession. but we begin this hour with a moment which proves that the good folk of the nation's capitol have no sense of irony whatsoever. almost 60 years after rosa parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in montgomery, alabama, the president and congressional leaders from both parties unveiled a statue in honor of the late civil rights pioneer. >> rosa parks' singular act of disobedience launched a movement. the tired feet of those who walked the dusty roads of montgomery helped a nation see that to which it had once been blind.
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it is because of these men and women that i stand here today. >> and now for the ironic coder to that move b ceremony. because at the very moment as those elected leaders were celebrating the legacy of rosa parks, just across the street the supreme court was hearing oral arguments that are aimed at undoing the very revolution that miss parks helped to start. the issue before the court is the 1965 voting rights act. legislation that was born on one of those brutal days in american history when demonstrators were savagely beaten by police in alabama. the nation's outrage went all the way to the top. within days president lyndon johnson responded proposing a new law to remove the barriers like poll taxes and literacy tests that had kept blacks from freely exercising their right to vote. and now for almost 50 years, the voting rights act has given the federal government the power to
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protect blacks and hispanics from state and local governments who might have been tempted to suppress that right. it is section 5 of the act that requires jurisdictions in 16 states to secure approval from the justice department before changing voting laws. interestingly, the law was used effectively just last year to protect voters in states like florida and texas. but despite these very recent examples, chief justice john roberts has said things have changed in sne south. he says the voting rights act now raises series constitutional questions. but here's the response of one man who paid for his right to vote with blood, sweat, concussion, and tears. >> we still need section 5 and that's why we're here today standing up for the voting rights of all americans.
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>> let's turn now to pete williams who joins us live from the supreme court. pete is our justice correspondent. as i understand it, this is an opportunity for the supreme court to consider whether racial discrimination at the voting booth is still a serious challenge for voters and whether the voting rights act is still necessary. you've been following the day's proceedings. what's your impression of how members of the court see the issue? >> my impression, martin, is that at least five members of the court have doubts about the constitutionality of this law. what they're concerned about is not the idea of the preclearance requirement. it's the practice of where it's applied. the question here is is the area covered by the law a close enough fit to where the problem is? now, the court's more liberal members say it is close enough. if you look, for example, at the states covered by the law in the south, even though they account for only 25% of the nation's population, they account for
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over half of the successful voter discrimination lawsuits. suggesting it's working where the problem is. but chief justice roberts, for example, pointed out that massachusetts has a worse record of registering and getting blacks to turn out to vote than mississippi does. suggesting that it doesn't fit where the problem is. so that's what i think the question is going to come down to here, martin. is the court going to strike the down the preclearance requirement? or perhaps the coverage map part of the law and send it back to congress and say if you still care about this, then draw us a new map. that is certainly how it looked after the oral argument today. it's always tricky to predict based on what you hear in the courtroom. and who knows what will happen when the justices all get together and actually stair at the abyss about whether they really want to strike down what everyone agrees is the most successful civil rights law of all time. >> justice correspondent pete williams, thank you, sir.
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joining us now from the capitol is elijah cummings. and with us in new york is jonathan capehart and jimmy williams. congressman, if i might start with you, as our correspondent pete williams just made clear, the voting rights act may be one of the nation's best laws in history, but it had a rough ride at the supreme court today. in fact, justice scalia said that the law is -- and i'm quoting him -- a perpetuation of racial entitlement. what on earth does he mean by that? >> i can tell you this reminds me of some of the things that governor romney was saying during the campaign. clearly it's not any kind of racial entitlement. our constitution says that everybody has a right to vote. and those votes should be counted. and i believe that very
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strongly. and the voting rights act was put in force because there were so many people being discriminated against. and so i disagree with him wholeheartedly. then there was something else that was said by one of the justices -- conservative justices. they said they didn't believe that the congress should -- are in a position to decide the question regarding section 5. that's quite insulting. we do have three branches of government. i think we can decide quite well -- and keep in mind, martin. we just reauthorized the voting rights act back in 2006. 98-0 in the senate. and 300 and something to 33 in the house. and that was just in 2006. the question is what's happened since 2006? and i would submit that we need to look at what happened in 2008. the election of barack obama. >> jonathan, the congressman raises that as an issue, 2008.
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but isn't it the case that in 2012 what we've just been through is plentiful evidence of people trying to suppress the vote whether in alaska, texas, north carolina, ohio, florida? pennsylvania. i mean, how many times did that happen? >> it happened a lot. and it happened so much that people in 2012 were thinking wait a minute. what year are we in? we hadn't seen that kind of effort to suppress the vote in a very long time. the idea -- now, look. it's a good thing that the justices are asking tough questions, the right questions. andrea mitchell earlier in the afternoon did an interview with eiffel. and she said the liberal justices on the court also asked for tough questions of the solicitor general who's arguing on behalf of the government. against the shelby defendants, if you will. so as pete said, we can't read
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too much into what -- into the conservative justices' questions. but when you have antonin scalia talking about racial entitlement, that should send a shiver through people's pines about what could happen. >> isn't this an attempt to institutionalize gerrymandering. because we've already seen gerrymandering of congressional districts. but if this were allowed to happen -- if this voting rights act were struck down, this would give an institutional flavor to the ability of suppressing the vote wherever you like. >> if section 5 or the entire voting rights act were to be struck down, then what that for all intensive purposes says is the state legislatures can then go in and change their state election. >> no reference to the federal government. >> absolutely. federal government under a republican or democrat would have virtually no say in what those districts looked like.
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no more minority districts in the country. they could go in and rewrite those in the next round of redistrictering or being. which by the way is not as white as it used to be and is not as segregated as it used to be will become segregated once again. that is a scary thing. the gop needs to rethink this theory. if the court strikes it down and they have this idea of these districts that are just going to bleed out into white districts all over the country, the representation and they want women to vote for them. and african-americans to vote for them. and latinos to vote for them. there'll be no representation in congress for this. >> congressman, to jimmy's point, we've just had an election where 74% of hispanics voted for the current president. 94% of african-americans voted for the current president. it's hard for us not to look at this discussion at the moment and assume that the mantra is if
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you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em. cheat them out of their electoral rights. disenfranchise them, and that's the way republicans can win. >> i think there's little question about that. when we look at this past election. of course martin, you know my committee has been looking into this whole voting situation looking at true to vote going around challenging registered voters and at the same time challenging people at the polls. and we saw of course the efforts getting a bit of early voting or reducing it substantially. and in many instances folks saying that is their intention. it was their intention to make sure that african-americans and hispanics did not vote. clearly if there was a time for the voting rights act and section 5, it is now. >> right now. >> if it was not in place, we would have to create it. >> absolutely.
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jimmy, what happens if section 5 of the voting rights act is knocked down? does it go back to the congress? and what happens when it's considered by the congress? >> when they passed the 15th amendment it gave congress a huge amount of latitude, if you will, to do whatever they need to do legislatively under that amendment to the constitution. if the court strikes down section 5 and even worse section 2 which applies to the entire country, then the congress would have to go back in and would have to rewrite essentially a brand new voting rights act. and if that's the case, you have a democratic senate not with the fill bust -- without a filibuster proof majority. you have a republican led house. again i go back to what i said before. a congress under republicans in the house and democrats in the senate would have to rewrite the act, it would look starkly different than in 1965. >> do you agree? >> absolutely. and not better at all. >> jimmy williams, jonathan
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capehart, and congressman elijah cummings. congressman i know you rushed out from a vote to join us. thank you. >> my pleasure. next, a republican congressman who doesn't think sequester cuts enough. truly. stay with us. >> whenever you're on television particularly live television where you can't edit and do it again, you got to tell the folks everything. >> quite frankly you are the worst excuse for a journalist i've ever seen. >> i am the what? i can't hear you? >> the worst. ♪ ♪ vo:wiplus wireless speaker,rhead bold is the proud sponsor of singing in the shower.
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now to the budget act set to fall friday if there is no compromise over the latest fiscal fight. this time called the sequestration. the white house says the looming cuts sparked a brief conversation between the president and congressional leaders at today's dedication of a monument to rosa parks. this comes ahead of a meeting on friday at the white house. john boehner, nancy pelosi, harry reid, and mitch mcconnell all due to attend. white house spokesman jay carney expressed hope the sequester could be averted. but said all cuts and no revenue is not an option. >> is that senior citizens, middle class americans, parents trying to send their kids to college, parents trying to care for disabled children should bear all the burden of continued deficit reduction while the wealthiest individuals and large corporations who enjoy tax breaks that nobody else gets are held harmless. that is an unacceptable choice.
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>> our latest nbc news poll shows more than half the country thinks the automatic cuts are a bad idea. and 67% say they disapprove of how republicans are handling spending. even ben bernanke says the cuts could make it harder to reduce the deficit. but my next guest said the sequester cuts would be the first major victory for the tea party. and joining us now from capitol hill is tim hulescamp. good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> and i believe a congratulations are in order. called you a sentinel for true conservatism and the family research council has awarded you the accolade of true blue member of congress. a hat trick. if you like that sort of thing, congratulations.
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>> well, that's based on my voting record. but i'm voting what folks in kansas are concerned about. >> absolutely. in light of these achievements, what are your thoughts on the imminent sequester cuts that will prove devastating to this nation? >> well, a lot of history seems to get lost in washington very quickly. these cuts were proposed by the president over 18 months ago. as part of the deal to raise the debt ceiling. >> congress man, congressman, i do understand that. and that's not the question i asked you. >> sure. >> what i'm asking you is, is it your view that the house republican caucus should do absolutely nothing to prevent these cuts? that we should actually hit the deadline and go across it? is that your view? >> that's the law. i believe in following the law here. i believe we should have these cuts. but yes there were better ways to make those cuts. the house has passed two different bills in the last six months to make those cuts. and the senate has done nothing.
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the president hadn't made any proposal. but all the president talks about is raising taxes again. he raised taxes a little over a month ago on many americans over 50% of american households got a tax increase last month. and now it's time to do the spending cuts. frankly out of a $3.8 trillion budget, 2% cut i think washington can live with. >> okay. so congressman, you're happy -- just so i understand it -- you're perfectly happy for 750,000 people to lose their jobs, for 4,000 children in new jersey not to have vaccination for mmr, for thousands of elderly people in oklahoma to lose their meals on wheels, for michigan to lose $22 million in funding for primary and secondary education resulting in 300 individuals losing their teaching posts. just to be clear, you're happy for all of that to happen as opposed to closing a few loopholes that benefit
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millionaires and billionaires? >> there are billions of dollars of waste in this federal government. the president's -- >> i'm sorry, sir. i'm not asking you that question, sir. >> no. >> please. i'm asking you this question. i'll repeat the question. please answer the question. the question is are you happy to see 750,000 americans lose their jobs, thousands of children not have their vaccinations for mmr, thousands of elderly people to not have meals on wheels. >> that's a false choice. the president is choosing to cut those children off their meals -- >> the president has no control over what to cut. >> he does. he absolutely has that choice. >> these are indiscriminate cuts that are part of the sequester. >> so why did the president propose to make these cuts? these are the cuts the president proposed 18 months ago. he offered the deal. >> i really don't want to get into an argument with you about
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whether speaker boehner felt he got what he wanted or that republicans voted for the sequester. we've dealt with those arguments. we could have that all day. what i'm interested in is are you happy, sir, are you happy as an elected member of congress to see 750,000 people lose their jobs, thousands of children go without vaccinations? are you happy for that to happen? >> i am not happy for that top because washington can't get its fiscal act together. >> so you're not happy. >> i am happy to reduce the deficit and stop putting on the backs of future generations. and washington could make those choices. we have 3.5 million americans receiving food stamps that are old enough to work, that have no dependents but they're getting food stamps. why don't we take that money and put it into these programs that
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he's highlighting. but on the issue of education, i firmly believe that's not the responsibility of washington. that's the responsibility of our states and local governments rather than the president of the united states. >> okay, sir. are you satisfied with the republican leadership since you arrived in the congress? >> no. i voted for a different leader this time around. but what we have happening now is finally what i have heard from my constituents is they're looking for reductions in spending in washington. that's always difficult. there's always something on the receiving end. >> i understand that, sir. >> can i finish -- >> no, no. >> you wanted me to answer the question. the answer is i've seen some improvement. >> congressman, i'm asking you a question specifically about the republican leadership. you of course voted against the ryan budget, is that correct, sir? >> i voted against it in 2012. i voted for it in 2011. but the reason i voted against it in 2012 was because we weren't moving quickly enough to solve our overspending problems. >> absolutely.
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and so was it not big enough in your opinion? the 2012 ryan budget slashed 45% of education, 24% of infrastructure, medicare by 34% which would force 45 million people to lose their health insurance. something like $133 billion would have been taken away from food stamps, nutrition assistance. was paul ryan's budget not brutal enough for you, sir? that's what i'm asking. >> it's not a matter of brutal. but there are different ways to help balance the budget. >> so you would have liked more cuts? >> cuts in different areas, actually. and we have had a plan through the house. the senate has yet to have a plan. and that's their choice. but to stand up today and say my gosh we haven't seen anything in the house is not true. that's happened twice in the last year. in may and in december. but the question is when do you want to balance the budget? the president doesn't want to balance the budget. i want to balance it in a way
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and as quickly as we can before we have too much debt in this country. martin, i think you understand the problem with too much debt. >> you know the president wants to balance the budget. >> absolutely not. that is not true at all. his budget last year didn't balance for 75 years. it didn't balance for 75 years. how can you say he wanted a balanced budget? >> because that is what the president has said. >> he has never presented a balanced budget to congress in four years. >> let's move on with your own record for a moment. >> absolutely. >> hurricane sandy. now, 130 people lost their lives. $62 billion in damage. 72,000 homes destroyed in new jersey alone. and you voted against hurricane sandy relief. and i'm quoting you, sir. you were quoted as saying i'm not convinced that it was needed. what would have satisfied your threshold of need, sir? would it have been 500 dead? 1,000 dead? 5,000 dead?
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what is it that satisfies your expectation of deaths that means that you would have voted for relief for the millions of people effected by hurricane sandy? >> martin, some of that money wasn't going to be spent for five years. what happens in washington, d.c. is they say you got to authorize it today because it's an emergency. when most of that money wasn't going to be spent for two, three, sometimes four years. >> i understand that, sir. but you said you were not convinced that it was needed. you were not convinced that it was needed. i'm asking you the question -- >> as of today -- >> what threshold of -- what threshold of deaths -- how many deaths do you need -- >> you know it's not about deaths. spending the money didn't bring anybody back to life. you know that, martin. the question is do we borrow that money from the future and spend it today? all i said and conservatives said is if you want to spend that money, find ways to cut in the current program. you can't continue to borrow money every day like you want to
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do and the president of the united states wants to do. >> sir -- >> how would you like to pay for your $55 billion? do you want to pay for that or not? and you're telling me you want to borrow money from children and grandchildren and force them to fund your spending. >> please don't impose decisions on myself. i have no powers as you know. >> please don't do the same to me, martin, as well. because what you just said was imposing on me somehow the deaths were related to that. >> you said it was not -- okay. can you explain to me in the light of what you just said, sir, can you explain to me why you voted in favor of $380 million in agriculture disaster aid. does that have to do with the fact you come from a farming family? why did you vote for that? >> that had to do with my district. and you know what we did which is different than sandy? we actually cut somewhere else in the budget. and that's what we're proposing here. if you want to raise spending in one place, cut it somewhere else. get your facts straight. >> hurricane sandy was a once in
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a lifetime event. that's what the federal government exists to respond -- it was a once in a lifetime -- >> that's not in the constitution. >> why do you vote for agriculture disaster aid but you will not vote for that bill in the house? >> did you not hear my last answer? you missed my answer. what i said was i actually voted to cut spending in another ag program and moved it over here. it wasn't new spending like you're proposing to do for sandy. and in sandy we found out fema still had money until february, maybe march, that they hadn't spent yet. and they weren't going to spend this money that was given to them for two, three, four years. all i'm saying is some time, some day and the day is going to be friday morning we're going to wake up and find out maybe we're going to cut spending in washington. 2% is not much of a cut. but the president wants to cut particular programs that are painful. why doesn't he start with the free cell phone program? $2.2 billion.
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but he won't cut that. it's his responsibility to make certain these phones are used in the best way possible. >> congressman tim huleskamp, thank you for a robust conversation this afternoon. and i hope you'll join us again in the near future. >> thank you, martin. appreciate. >> thank you. coming up, a father from newtown speaks some truth to the senate. stay with us. >> when that was written almost 300 years ago, we didn't have these weapons we have today and the technology. they had muskets and cannons. i think it was 1934 when the ban was put on machine guns and the regulation. we haven't had a mass killing with a machine gun since. n. i worked a patrol unit for 17 years in the city of baltimore. when i first started experiencing the pain, it's hard to describe because you have a numbness but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot. it was progressively getting worse, and at that point, i knew i had to do something.
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from flirting with sequester and bill o'reilly doing it live to a good old fashioned smackdown, here are today's top lines. you heard me. >> it's time for get to know the sequester. >> these cuts are wrong. >> the president's a master at creating the impression of chaos. >> they're not smart. they're not fair. >> fan the flames of catastrophe. >> there's a sensible way of doing things. >> a member should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the house. you know who you are. >> and there's a dumb way of doing things. >> the reality is that this is going to happen on friday. >> we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something. >> it looks that way, but hope springs eternal. >> you need 30 rounds in a clip, you shouldn't be shooting deer. >> i've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. >> i was told we need it for the
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little varmints. >> small varmints if you will. >> i need to take a drink of water here. i've been in this business 36 years. when you wanted to take the water, tell the folks that. got to slap them around a bit. >> that's good advice and i'll take it. >> this part of the republican party doesn't have a future in the republican party. >> there's only one group to blame. the house majority and their speaker john boehner. >> chris christie's future, pretty damn bright. >> president panic himself. more concerned with fear mongering than finding a solution to the problem he himself created. >> quite frankly you are the worst excuse for a journalist i've ever seen. >> i'm a what? i can't hear you. >> the worst. you heard me. every journalistic ethic i've heard of was violated by you. >> you're a waste of time. >> i've been called a liar. >> you heard me. >> yes, sir, we heard you loud and clear, congressman.
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let's get to our panel. richard wolffe is vice president and executive editor of msnbc.com and krystal ball is my colleague and cohost of "the cycle." welcome to you both. krystal, talk for a brief moment about that exchange between keith ellerson and sean hannity. i've heard it called epic, astonishing. what words would you use to describe it? >> it's all of those. and department of obvious. i don't think anyone serious thinks of him as a serious journalist. he does just spout talking points. and his line is the exact same line as the republicans which is the sequester, oh, it's not all that bad. the president is making it out to be this big deal. it's really not. and on the other hand saying it's all the president's fault and this is awful because obama did this to us. so it doesn't make any sense. god bless keith ellison for pointing out the absurdity.
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>> can we not stay with sean hannity? >> did you enjoy it? >> i did. so pitiful. but that look on his face when he has no comeback. keith ellison states the obvious to him. he has no self-awareness that he is a parody of a journalist. yet he's, what did you say? the great thing is he's saying the president has been fear mongering. what has fox news been doing all these years? are they upset someone is on their monopoly of fear? >> so you didn't find it the great apex of journalistic achievement? >> for him? >> yes. >> i don't think he can spell apex. >> okay. let's turn to the most popular republican in the land chris christie. new jerseyans vote him very highly. listen to what charles krout hammer said about him. >> i wasn't happy in what he did in sandy.
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i thought he deserved three months in quarantine. that's up. he should be let out. we have a wide tent. >> so he deserves quarantining for representing his constituents, vast numbers of whom lost family members and had their homes destroyed. but he deserved to be quarantined. >> that in and of itself is unbelievable. more unbelievable is cpac wants to exclude the most popular republican in the country. mitt romney, sarah palin, yes bring them on. >> allen west. >> exactly. >> rick perry. >> exactly. >> all stars. >> and they're wanting to have this message about the future of the republican party. what are they going to learn from these voices of the past? whatnot to do? that's about the best they could get out of it. obviously chris christie is doing something right. because people like him and they respond to him. maybe they could learn something
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from him from hearing him talk. >> charles krauthammer is held up as a smart intellectual on the far right. and what's remarkable about him is he's saying first of all i have an ideological test. and there's a hard right test that chris christie has failed. but if that's what it takes to win, okay. what are they representing? are you -- do you have a litmus test or are you just getting elected? >> you're saying no principle? >> pretend to have principles but in the same sentence say i don't have any. >> i do also like that he sort of bestows upon himself the ability to grant the proper penalty for going against the conservative movement. >> what is your reaction, richard, to -- and what is your expectation when mitt romney takes the stage? >> oh, a great spiritual leader
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to take on the party. what do i expect? i think there may be some affecti affection. they can't completely -- will he still be conservative? will he be the massachusetts moderate? we'll see. he doesn't have to worry about favor anymore. which mitt romney will show up? that's more interesting. >> interestingly the gentleman who has the tattoo has attempted to have it removed. he lost his love. what do you expect at the cpac? >> it's a great question. because what principle has he ever had to offer? what instructive principles or advice has he had to offer to anyone? >> one. how to hide millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts. >> maybe if he does a seminar on that, that would be useful. >> krystal ball and richard
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wolffe, thank you both. stay with us. we have much more ahead. >> miss parks alone in that seat clutching her purse staring out a window waiting to be arrested. that moment tells us something about how change happens or doesn't happen ♪ [ male announcer ] this is kevin. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. i was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again. and now i've got to take more pills. ♪ yup. another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap.
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a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? and with all the points i've been earning, i was able to get us a flight to our favorite climbing spot even on a holiday weekend. ♪ things are definitely looking up. [ male announcer ] with no blackout dates, you can use your citi thankyou points to travel whenever you want. visit citi.com/thankyoucards to apply. with the guillotine poised to drop on $85 billion of cuts for the next year alone, the president has summoned congressional leaders to the white house for a meeting on friday. nbc white house correspondent kristen welker joins us live. good afternoon. with this meeting set for friday the day the sequester kicks in, can we assume the white house has really given up on congress doing anything to avoid it? >> well, martin, good afternoon. that seems to be the case.
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i've been talking to officials here at the white house and on capitol hill. and there seems to be a broad agreement that at this point the sequester is all but going to happen. it's hard to see how they're going to avoid it actually kicking in. this is the fifth budget battle we've seen. what's strange about this particular fight is there seems to be a real lack of urgency to get something done by that march 1st deadline. as you point out, the meeting on friday happens hours after the sequester is set to go into effect. it's really one of the only meetings we've seen between the president and congressional leaders. both sides are really dug in. the president demanding any idea includes revenues. and republicans saying they're not going to accept that type of a deal. it's hard to see how this gets worked out by friday. the conventional wisdom is the
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sequester will go into effect and stay in effect a couple of weeks. and the real deadline here is at the end of march when lawmakers have to deal with the continuing resolution, that bill to fund the government. by all accounts they have to deal with the sequester at that point in time. in the meantime, furlough notices have started to go out. they are going to get more and more heat from the public once this does in fact go into effect. and if you talk to analysts around here, they say this is really the new norm here in washington. this self-manufactured crisis that they have to deal with from month to month. >> it is crazy. kristen welker, thank you. >> thanks, martin. next, a shot across the bow for politicians in bed with the nra. ♪ for over 75 years people have saved money with...ohhh... ...with geico... ohhh...sorry! director's voice: here we go. from the top. and action for over 75 years people have saved money with gecko so....
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today gun violence was the
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subject of a speech by vice president biden and a news conference hosted by new york city mayor michael bloomberg. but it was the chilling testimony of a father who lost his son as sandy hook elementary school at a senate hearing that may prove to have the greatest impact. >> mental health issues, better background checks, bans on these weapons, bans on high capacity magazines. they all have to come together. they all have to work effectively. it has to be done. common sense tells you that. >> joining us now is democratic strategist julian epstein. that was as you know neil heslin. he said something today i thought captures this debate on gun control. he said the second amendment says a well regulated militia. then he said well, it hasn't been well regulated. that's true, isn't it, julian? >> that's right. and we know that regulations will actually reduce the number
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of gun crimes we've seen in this country. the data is overwhelming. what i think we're seeing here, martin as we've discussed before is this massive shift in public opinion with testimony like the testimony we just saw. vice president biden eluded to the fact today if anybody saw a scene of the crime -- a photo of the crime scene that bans on clips would pass in a jiffy. i just saw the attendant here. you should ask him on your show to give a vivid description of what the crime scene was like. and this was part of the reason this issue is seeping into the front of the consciousness of the american people right now. you combine that with what happened in chicago where mayor bloomberg investigated a significant amount of resources such that robin kelly who is far behind in that special election democratic primary against an nra backed candidate came from behind and won largely because of the gun issue. what we're seeing here are two
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things. one is not just that there's this massive public support because of the leadership from the president or the vice president. because of shows like this, the leadership of the media and focusing on this issue. but if we combine that with resources like that which mayor michael bloomberg put in illinois, i can tell you from having worked with lots of members -- >> over $2 million. >> having worked with these members of congress on both sides, every single member of congress is looking at that election right now and saying hey we know that the public is overwhelmingly in favor of these things like assault weapons, bans, the clips, background checks. if anybody comes into my district and puts that kind of resources into a campaign, i could lose the election if i'm a stooge for the nra. this is serving notice on washington that note only is their massive public support for the issues, but now there are going to be the resources to make the stooges of the nra play
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a political price. we see the kind of massive carnage on the streets. >> let me play something else from there. it's an argument between lindsey graham and the milwaukee police chief. take a listen to his. >> just for the record from my point of view, senator -- >> how many cases have you made -- >> it doesn't matter. it's a paper thing. i want to stop 76 -- i want to finish the answer. >> no. >> i want to stop 76,000 people from buying guns illegally. that's what a background check does. if you think we're doing paperwork prosecutions, you're wrong. >> chief edwin flynn says we don't chase paper. we chase armed criminals. he's right, isn't he? >> that's right. again, the data are just so overwhelming. they're not arguable. so when lindsey graham makes these arguments, they sound silly and nobody believes them anymore. the fact of the matter is we know 80% of the crimes used in
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gun crimes are bought without background checks. there just isn't that much debate about that. law enforcement are the people who are on the front lines this way. the way dr. bag sees what's happening on a day-to-day basis. the data are just overwhelming that the common sense solutions will stop criminals from getting guns, will stop the ability of people to get guns that can create these type of mass murders we see on a regular basis right now. it's not arguable at this point. >> julian epstein, thank you. also we should know that neil heslin and the physician that he mentioned will join chris matt use on "hardball" next. we'll be right back. the vegeta. at green giant, we pick vegetables only when they're perfect. then freeze them fast so they're are as nutritious as fresh. [ green giant ] ho ho ho. ♪ green giant i'm phyllis, and i have diabetic nerve pain. the diabetic nerve pain, [ green giant ] ho ho ho.
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